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Film / Sabrina Down Under

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Sabrina Down Under is the second Made-for-TV Movie spun off from Sabrina the Teenage Witch and a sequel to Sabrina Goes to Rome. It was directed by Kenneth R. Koch and written by Daniel Berendsen. In this Sabrina and Salem go to Australia on a diving holiday. But they eventually discover a merman called Barnaby, whose colony is in danger of being wiped out - due to chemicals being dumped into their home. Things also get tricky when the local marine biologist gets suspicious about Barnaby.

Tara Strong reprises her role as Gwen. Also stars Lindsay Sloane who played Valerie in the TV series - playing a different character named Fin.

The movie premiered on ABC on September 26, 1999, as part of their anthology series The Wonderful World of Disney.

Provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Scott Michaelson plays a merman. In an episode of Flipper his character previously met a mermaid.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Played for Laughs. Gwen mastered freezing time at the end of Sabrina Goes To Rome. When she gets it wrong, Sabrina says "what have you been practising, the piano?"
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The merpeople don't believe in witches. Barnaby thinks it's ridiculous when he's told about it.
  • The Beautiful Elite: All the merpeople.
  • Better Than It Sounds: In-universe. Sabrina tries to describe hugging and kissing to Barnaby and assures him it's more romantic than it sounds.
  • Big Damn Movie: Despite being made for TV, this has the trappings of one. Notable in the previous film, Sabrina didn't have to save anything.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Sabrina (blonde), Gwen (brunette) and Fin (redhead).
  • Call-Back:
    • Gwen attempts to freeze time and showers everyone with water, like she did in the previous film.
    • Salem also ends up putting diners in a restaurant off their food once again.
  • Character Development: Gwen is still an Inept Mage but she can get her spells a bit more exact and is right occasionally.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Jerome's 'singing sea maiden' act.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A photo Salem takes of Hilary ends up exposing the ship that's been polluting the ocean.
  • Compressed Vice: Sabrina claims that she is considering becoming a Marine Biologist - and is suddenly a huge fan of Dr Martin's work. Even as far back as season 2 of the TV show, Sabrina has been all about doing journalism. It's even referenced in Sabrina Goes to Rome. And her sudden interest in marine biology comes out of nowhere.
  • Continuity Nod: This time Sabrina's relationship with Harvey is given a nod, even if he isn't named.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Salem and Sabrina end up in the same resort completely by accident. Also the same resort as another witch-turned-cat.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Fin, Barnaby's sister. She has good reason to be hostile to humans, but warms to Sabrina once she helps them.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Well what do you expect when you put a merman behind the wheel of a car?
  • Emergency Transformation: They turn Barnaby to a human so he can get treatment from Dr Martin for his infection.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Barnaby is a male example.
  • Exact Words: Gwen casts a spell to transport herself to the boat. She does - to right beside it and promptly drops into the water.
  • Fantastic Racism: Fin finds human legs "disgusting".
  • Fiery Redhead: Fin, though she's more of a Tsundere.
  • Genki Guy: Barnaby, who has an incredible amount of enthusiasm at becoming human for two days.

  • Green Aesop: About dumping sewage into oceans.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Subverted. Sabrina is a witch but getting struck by lightning (while in water) knocks her out and shorts out her powers.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dr Martin.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Gwen turns Salem into a catfish by accident.
  • Land Down Under: Takes place on an unnamed Australian island.
  • Light-Haired Swimmer: Barnaby the Merman is blond.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Sabrina getting struck by lightning shorts out her magic temporarily.
  • Maybe Ever After: Gwen and Jerome.
  • Mirror Monologue: Salem rehearses a speech for Hilary this way.
  • Moment Killer: Barnaby hugs Sabrina but she flinches. He says "am I not doing it right?" and she says he poured ice cream down her dress.
  • Mythology Gag: Sort of. Barnaby asks if Sabrina has someone she kisses back home - and she responds yes. Referencing Harvey presumably.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Hilary goes into Salem's room to apologise for being rude - just as Sabrina and Gwen are running around. She assumes Salem is a Casanova who has "a room full of women".
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • As in the first film, Tara Strong slips with certain words in her English accent.
    • Scott Michaelson fares a little better, his natural Australian accent only coming through on certain words.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Standard half-human, half-fish appearance. A spell in Sabrina's magic book turns one human - no payment required but it only lasts 48 hours. The merperson becomes completely human and the spell can't be reversed. It just has to run its course.
  • Scenery Porn: Actually not as much as Sabrina Goes To Rome but there's a lot of underwater porn, showing off the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Seashell Bra: Subverted. Fin's breasts are covered by natural scales.
  • Serial Romeo: Gwen seems to have developed into this.
  • Shock and Awe: Sabrina is able to conjure up thunder and lightning to stop the boat.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Hilary. She rebuffs Salem's advances at first but clearly seems to warm to him. Then she abruptly leaves him at the end.
  • Team Pet: Spout the dolphin.
  • Those Two Guys: A pair of elderly fishermen staying at the resort.
  • Token Romance: Averted. Despite a bit of Ship Tease between Sabrina and Barnaby and a kiss, their relationship is not romantic.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Sabrina turns herself into a fish briefly to explore the reef.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Scott Glenn gets a lot of these playing a merman. Also Gwen's man candy Jerome.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's safe to say Gwen's fling with Alberto didn't work out as she hits on Barnaby and gets another admirer. Averted with her actual pet Stonehenge as she just says she left him at home.